The Children

MTC The Children AARAn incisive drama about the responsibility each generation faces in leaving a better world for those that follow, Melbourne Theatre Company presents the Australian premiere of Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children at the Southbank Theatre from 8 February 2018.

In an isolated cottage on the English coast, two retired nuclear physicists are living a quiet existence. Life is tough, electricity is rationed, and they keep a Geiger counter on hand for good reason. But they have worked all their lives for their retirement and now they are determined to enjoy it.

Until one day, an old friend and colleague arrives unexpectedly, bringing memories of the past and a frightening challenge for the future.

Directed by MTC Associate Director Sarah Goodes, three of Australia’s finest actors, Pamela Rabe (Wentworth), Sarah Peirse (Switzerland) and William Zappa (Rock ‘n’ Roll), star in the Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company co-production by one of contemporary theatre’s most compelling voices.

“Lucy Kirkwood is one of the most exciting playwrights working today,” says Sarah Goodes. “Her play presents a fragile normality that rumbles with big ideas and questions about generational responsibility and how we chose to live our lives. The opportunity to experience this brilliant new play performed by three of this country’s best actors should be snapped up in a heartbeat.”

Lucy Kirkwood is a British playwright whose first play It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First But it is Alright Now earned her a nomination for Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards. Her critically acclaimed play Chimerica premiered at Almeida Theatre in 2013 and subsequently transferred to the West End, winning Best New Play at the 2014 Olivier and Evening Standard Awards, as well as the Critics Circle Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

In 2017, Chimerica had its Australian premiere at Sydney Theatre Company to critical acclaim. The Children premiered in November 2016 at the Royal Court, London, while her most recent play Mosquitoes, opened at the National Theatre in September 2017.

Sarah Goodes’ reputation as a leading director of new Australian and international work has been built on widespread praise and multiple award nominations. For MTC her recent work includes Three Little Words, John and Switzerland (following its acclaimed season in Sydney). Formerly Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company, Sarah directed The Hanging, Disgraced, Orlando, Battle of Waterloo, The Effect, Vere (Faith), The Splinter, and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness.

Her other directing credits include Elling, Black Milk, The Sweetest Thing, and The Small Things (B Sharp Belvoir); The Colour of Panic (Sydney Opera House); Vertigo and the Virginia, The Schelling Point, Hilt, and What Happened Was (Old Fitzroy Theatre); and The Unscrupulous Murderer Hasse Karlson Reveals the Gruesome Truth about the Woman Who Froze to Death on a Railway Bridge (Darlinghurst Theatre Company). In 2015 she was the recipient of the Gloria Payten Travel Scholarship.

“Lucy Kirkwood’s new play is a richly suggestive and beautifully written piece of work.” – The Independent

Director: Sarah Goodes Featuring: Pamela Rabe, Sarah Peirse, William Zappa Set and Costume Designer: Elizabeth Gadsby Lighting Designer: Paul Jackson Composer and Sound Designer: Steve Francis Voice & Dialect Coach: Geraldine Cook-Dafner

The Children
The Sumner – Southbank Theatre, Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Season: 8 February – 10 March 2018 (previews: 3 – 7 February)
Information and Bookings:

Image: Pamela Rabe, Sarah Peirse and William Zappa star in The Children (supplied)